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Author Topic: Unfair pricing system for Swindon commuters  (Read 16522 times)
Mookiemoo
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« Reply #15 on: November 02, 2007, 12:33:38 pm »

I spent a long journey home playing about on national rail - taking all the stops between WOS» (Worcester Shrub Hill - next trains) and PAD» (Paddington (London) - next trains) and working out a variety of breaks at stations.

Breaking the ticket at oxford was the cheapest by far. But only for first class.  Standard doesnt get the same reduction if they break the ticket.

But if there is something i've missed I'd appreicate it.
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"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe."

"Gravitation is not responsible for people falling in love"
Tickets Please
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« Reply #16 on: November 02, 2007, 06:52:30 pm »

the guard is wrong - two season tickets are valid as long as the train calls where they split and obviously they do at oxford.

who is this super guard you refer to ? does he walk with a limp on the count of his false leg by any chance ?

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Mookiemoo
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« Reply #17 on: November 02, 2007, 07:33:40 pm »

the guard is wrong - two season tickets are valid as long as the train calls where they split and obviously they do at oxford.

who is this super guard you refer to ? does he walk with a limp on the count of his false leg by any chance ?



didnt say he was a super guard - just that he's well known on the line I use on the morning trains and has been doing it years (and most of the passengers like him).  I would have thought he knew the rules.

And if anyone asked if his name began with a Z and ended in Q, I could not possibly comment.

Edit by Graham - it does NOT start in a Z and end in a Q, of course.  There are times when we will mention a name - a manager to contact, an authority who has made a statement - but rarely specific operational staff.  And if it's improper to name them, it's certainly improper to hint at their name!
« Last Edit: November 04, 2007, 03:58:47 pm by grahame » Logged

Ditched former sig - now I need to think of something amusing - brain hurts -I'll steal from the master himself - Einstein:

"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe."

"Gravitation is not responsible for people falling in love"
vacman
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« Reply #18 on: November 02, 2007, 10:48:06 pm »

the guard is wrong - two season tickets are valid as long as the train calls where they split and obviously they do at oxford.

who is this super guard you refer to ? does he walk with a limp on the count of his false leg by any chance ?



didnt say he was a super guard - just that he's well known on the line I use on the morning trains and has been doing it years (and most of the passengers like him).  I would have thought he knew the rules.

And if anyone asked if his name began with a Z and ended in Q, I could not possibly comment.
Trust me, plenty of my colleagues who have been on the railway since Brunel built the GW (Great Western) don't have a clue about tickets!
It tends to be the younger jobsworths like me that know the system inside out!  Wink
« Last Edit: November 04, 2007, 03:59:14 pm by grahame » Logged
Tickets Please
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« Reply #19 on: November 03, 2007, 11:14:56 am »

yes well I know exactally who you are refering to. I would get a copy of the National Conditions of Carriage and point him to condition 19 which states:

19. Using a combination of tickets
You may use two or more tickets for one journey as long as together they cover
the entire journey and one of the following applies:
(a) they are both Zonal Tickets (unless special conditions prohibit their use);
(b) the train you are in calls at the station where you change from one ticket to
another; or
(c) one of the tickets is a Season Ticket (which for this purpose does not include Season
Tickets or travel passes issued on behalf of a passenger transport executive or
local authority) or a leisure travel pass, and the other ticket(s) is/are not.

And he should know better, he works those trains enough.
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Tim
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« Reply #20 on: November 21, 2007, 04:51:56 pm »

The danger of working our fares on a per hour basis that when your train is delayed your journey becomes better value!

fares in teh former Network SouthEast area which includes Didcot, Oxford and even Worcester, but not bristol, or Swindon are generally cheaper.  This was a policy decision by BR (British Rail(ways)).  The crazy thing about fares is the fares set today are still based on those set by BR decades ago.  For example, BR charged higher fares on teh ECMl than teh WCML (West Coast Main Line) because it ran faster and newer trains.  Now we have faster and new trains on teh WCML but the price defferential still exists.  The current fares are neither the fairest for the passenger nor, I belive the most profitable for the companies.

All fares need to be scrapped and worked out from scratch on a per mile basis with upward adjustment for fast and frequent services and downward adjustments for poorer services.  higher fares could also be charged to control overcrowding but only on the condition that the extra revenue generated is ring fenced for alleviating teh overcrowding.
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Nitrox
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« Reply #21 on: December 30, 2007, 07:35:07 pm »

I would love to hear from anyone who has thought of a way round them. For about ^30 less a month you can get separate season tickets to and from didcot parkway but it's not that much difference. I have heard that some people drive from Swindon to Didcot and get the train there rather than paying the higher fare price, but seeing as it is a good hours drive to Didcot this can't be a solution for regular commuters.

I concur ! I too will be moving to Swindon in the Spring (from Newbury) and have been doing a fair bit of research in to the various commuting options available to London.  I considered the driving to Didcot thing but having tried this journey the other night decided that this was not an option for me (that B4507 is an awful road to drive on and not a drive I want to face first thing in the morning nor last thing at night)  It took at least 25 minutes just to get to Wantage and I couldn't be bothered to go any further having made my mind up about that particular journey already !

Although I don't need to go to London every day of the working week, I would certainly need to go at least 2 days, sometimes 3 days per week.  They are not set days each week.  FGW (First Great Western) do not offer Day Return's from Swindon to London, for what reason I don't know (in order to maximise revenue I assume ?); but I would be interested to know what the reason is if anyone knows ?  What has distance got to do with anything ?

So we are faced with the option of a Standard Open Return costing ^98.00 (which IMHO (in my humble opinion) is just simply outrageous) and, erm, that's it. ^98.00. Lovely.

How obtuse is it, however, that a Day Return between Swindon and Didcot costs ^30.00 and a Day Return from Didcot to London costs ^42.20.  A combined saving of ^25.80.  I am aware of the 'train has to stop at Didcot' for this to be valid but with the exception of about 2 services, all trains from Swindon-London-Swindon call at Didcot.  I don't understand how they can justify charging ^98.00 when this is a valid alternative ?

I have also priced the weekly and monthly season ticket options and have come to the conclusion that based on the number of times I will travel it is probably just about more cost efficient to buy a monthly season ticket but was left totally confused having called the FGW Telesales number to clarify the costs etc.  Having already been in possession of a monthly season ticket on the Newbury to London route, I am aware that, on renewal, FGW give a 5% discount.  Now, I must confess, I am not entirely certain why this is so, I have a feeling it has something to do with FGW's punctuality performance, but I stand to be corrected.  When I asked about the renewal discount, the agent said that this would be down to the discretion of the person selling me the ticket at the tme ??! WTF ?  When I asked why the discounts were given, there was a stony silence.  Is this some unwritten rule that, although FGW have to adhere to it they do not make a point of acknowledging it ?  So I said to the agent, did it depend on the tone of my voice, the colour of my socks or something but again she reiterated her point about it being down to the discretion of the ticket agent at the time.  Either they do give a discount or they b****y don't !!  Why is this all shrouded in FGW mystery ?

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vacman
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« Reply #22 on: December 30, 2007, 10:08:12 pm »

I would love to hear from anyone who has thought of a way round them. For about ^30 less a month you can get separate season tickets to and from didcot parkway but it's not that much difference. I have heard that some people drive from Swindon to Didcot and get the train there rather than paying the higher fare price, but seeing as it is a good hours drive to Didcot this can't be a solution for regular commuters.

I concur ! I too will be moving to Swindon in the Spring (from Newbury) and have been doing a fair bit of research in to the various commuting options available to London.  I considered the driving to Didcot thing but having tried this journey the other night decided that this was not an option for me (that B4507 is an awful road to drive on and not a drive I want to face first thing in the morning nor last thing at night)  It took at least 25 minutes just to get to Wantage and I couldn't be bothered to go any further having made my mind up about that particular journey already !

Although I don't need to go to London every day of the working week, I would certainly need to go at least 2 days, sometimes 3 days per week.  They are not set days each week.  FGW (First Great Western) do not offer Day Return's from Swindon to London, for what reason I don't know (in order to maximise revenue I assume ?); but I would be interested to know what the reason is if anyone knows ?  What has distance got to do with anything ?

So we are faced with the option of a Standard Open Return costing ^98.00 (which IMHO (in my humble opinion) is just simply outrageous) and, erm, that's it. ^98.00. Lovely.

How obtuse is it, however, that a Day Return between Swindon and Didcot costs ^30.00 and a Day Return from Didcot to London costs ^42.20.  A combined saving of ^25.80.  I am aware of the 'train has to stop at Didcot' for this to be valid but with the exception of about 2 services, all trains from Swindon-London-Swindon call at Didcot.  I don't understand how they can justify charging ^98.00 when this is a valid alternative ?

I have also priced the weekly and monthly season ticket options and have come to the conclusion that based on the number of times I will travel it is probably just about more cost efficient to buy a monthly season ticket but was left totally confused having called the FGW Telesales number to clarify the costs etc.  Having already been in possession of a monthly season ticket on the Newbury to London route, I am aware that, on renewal, FGW give a 5% discount.  Now, I must confess, I am not entirely certain why this is so, I have a feeling it has something to do with FGW's punctuality performance, but I stand to be corrected.  When I asked about the renewal discount, the agent said that this would be down to the discretion of the person selling me the ticket at the tme ??! WTF ?  When I asked why the discounts were given, there was a stony silence.  Is this some unwritten rule that, although FGW have to adhere to it they do not make a point of acknowledging it ?  So I said to the agent, did it depend on the tone of my voice, the colour of my socks or something but again she reiterated her point about it being down to the discretion of the ticket agent at the time.  Either they do give a discount or they b****y don't !!  Why is this all shrouded in FGW mystery ?


The 5% discount is triggered by the monthly performance of the TOC (Train Operating Company) who sets the fare, if the PPM(resolve) (I think this stands for Public Performance Measure) is lower than the government's target for that period then everyone in the effected area gets the discount when they renew their season, it's not down to the disgression of the individual ticket seller! Was it someone in India that you spoke to by any chance??  Wink
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SusanW
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« Reply #23 on: January 31, 2008, 04:56:48 pm »

Thanks for everyone's head-scratching and comments.

Welcome to the world of Swindon commuting Nitrox. I am in exactly the same boat as you - tend to commute into London between 2 and 4 days a week and I buy a monthly season ticket.

You're right - it's impossible to drive to Didcot and continue the journey that way, although it might be cheaper.

I've recently written to Andrew Haines (FGW (First Great Western) chief exec) to request a review of the fare discrepancies between Swindon and nearby stations such as Didcot - am waiting for some reply.

The 5% renewal is due to the poor punctuality of their trains - up until last week you got 5% or 10% depending on how bad they'd been (nearly always 5%) but now you actually get 10% or 20% - FGW finally agreed that they've been a pile of pants. The reason why there might be a query over your renewal is that although you're renewing a season ticket, you're not renewing it like for like, and FGW may well argue that that's not a straight renewal. I know that I lost my 5% the first time I renewed after moving from Oxford. 

Hope this helps! And yes, all the call centres are on the other side of the world...
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